There is only one way to achieve lasting happiness. That way is simply: Be happy.
If you are not happy, you have to follow a process to be happy. This process will have elements that are contrary to what you believe, what you have been taught, what others may have told you, what tradition says and even contrary to your common sense. This is obvious, because, if you are happy, then you need not need this process.
This process starts with two simple questions:
- Would I want this to be true: ” Every event that befalls me is absolutely the best possible event that could occur.”
- Will I give that a chance to occur?
If you can truthfully say “yes”, then all our worries are gone; because, why would we worry if the best possible event happens.
The next step of the process is to experience life in the here and now, not in the past or the future. It also consists of removing dualistic distinctions between “I and You”, “subject and object” and “spiritual activities and ordinary activities”. This involves a particular concentration of the mind, a calmness and simplicity of mind that helps us experience the Oneness with the universe leading to enlightenment and happiness.
To do that we need to know the universal laws and using concentration of the mind apply it to every situation and every event.
What are these laws?
1. We are the authors of every next moment. Events happen. The meaning of the event is what we give to it. If we give the meaning that it is the best possible thing that can happen, then all events will make us happy. We have to do it every moment of our lives. Then every moment of our lives will be filled with happiness.
2. At the moment we think an event as good or bad or neutral. To reach happiness, we have to do this: Act as if everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that can happen to me. Remember that everything comes at the appointed time. Remember that the universe does not make mistakes. Remember you are part of this conscious universe.You have maintain this awareness constantly: writing it on a piece of paper and seeing it often helps, smiling all the time helps.
3. Neither happiness or unhappiness is contained in the event itself. It depends on the way you choose to interpret the event. Every action produces a reaction, and that reaction is in exact accord with the action. If you change the action, the reaction changes. If you change what you believe, your life changes.
4. The more you engage in any type of emotion or behaviour, the greater your desire for it will become. The body also reacts according to what we think. If we are happy, our body produces more happiness chemicals and these happiness chemicals produce more cells that can respond to these happiness chemicals and make us more happy. The type of new cells created therefore depends on what you think and feel. The mind is so powerful. The mind is also helped by being with people who believe that what you seek is not only possible but also very probable.
5. Separation is an illusion. We are all waves on the sea and is the wave different from the sea?
6. Nothing can be lost or destroyed, only changed. Therefore we can never cease to exist and the Universe can never cease to exist. The body may die but we live on.
7. Change is constant. If one adapts to change, then all events become favourable.
8. The true source of happiness is within you. It does not exist outside you and does not depend on anything happening or not happening.
9. How you conduct yourself along the path that is your life determines how your life unfolds. You, and you alone determine what your world is like.
10. Stress comes from the way you relate to events or situations, not the events themselves.
11. The Universe always strikes at your weakest point because that is what needs strengthening. So remember that each obstacle is the best thing that can possibly happen.
12. Healing the past enables you to be happy in the present. Heal it by opening to the idea that whatever happened to you in the past eventually turned out or will turn out to be a benefit for you.
13. This moment we call now is all that exists.
14. Events are the language of the Universe and they happen for your ultimate benefit as you are precious part of the Universe.
So, apply these laws to every moment of your life. But remember that you are starting a new way of living and therefore be gentle with yourself. Start small. Don’t start with difficult things.
The basic awareness that needs to be constant is this:
“Everything that happens to me only happens so that I can be benefited to the maximum amount possible.”
or simply say
“This is for my benefit.”
-notes from the book ” Zen and the Art of Happiness” by Chris Prentiss